French panic as plane alert lost in translation

12th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

French passengers on an Aer Lingus Dublin-Paris flight were thrown into panic when a faulty announcement told them the plane was about to make an emergency landing, the airline said Friday.

Dublin - French passengers on an Aer Lingus Dublin-Paris flight were thrown into panic when a faulty announcement told them the plane was about to make an emergency landing, the airline said Friday.

An English-language announcement 20 minutes after leaving Dublin said the plane was heading into turbulence, asking passengers to return to their seats -- but the pre-recorded French version said they were about to ditch.

One passenger told the Irish Examiner newspaper that a French man who was dozing next to him suddenly woke up and looked very startled.

"He translated what had been said to me. The message, he said, was that we should prepare for an emergency landing, note where the emergency exits were and await instructions from the captain.

"As there was turbulence as well I got quite alarmed. The woman behind me was crying.

"All the French freaked out," he said.

It took a few minutes before the cabin crew realised the error. "They then went back on the PA system and apologised for playing the wrong announcement in French," said the passenger.

The airline spokeswoman said the error was the result of the public address system malfunctioning. "We subsequently clarified this and apologised to our passengers. It I was a very unusual occurrence," she told AFP.

There were some 70 passengers on the A320 Airbus flight on 4 August.

AFP / Expatica

0 Comments To This Article